Another solid performance from the Eagles saw them record back-to-back wins for the first time this campaign and close the gap on those teams just outside the Premier League relegation zone.
Palace moved to level on points with West Ham in 17th, with Cardiff next just one point better off. It’s certainly a different picture from a few weeks ago, when Palace were unable to keep a clean sheet and at the foot of the table.
Four clean sheets in five games is impressive to say the least and is something even some of the top teams are struggling to do. The squad can take immense pride from this statistic and it can also breed confidence in their capabilities at this level. Stopping goals gives a platform to go forward, and Palace have shown they can do this.
If you were looking to be critical you could say one thing from the last two results in particular, it’s that they didn’t score more – and that is not a bad problem to have! There were chances against both West Ham and Cardiff to extend the score line which weren’t taken, but as I say if this is the only criticism then that has to be a good thing.
The Cardiff game brought to an end a run of matches that had been highlighted by the squad, owners and fans beforehand as being vital to the season. Nine points from those twelve games is an impressive return and changes the perception of many, including some within the national media.
Whatever happens this year, this has been a good run of results and has undoubtedly given the team a shot at survival, it is just something they need to keep up. With Chelsea away next this is going to be extremely difficult but it must be remembered in the run-up to and after Saturday that those are not the sorts of games that Palace must be targeting to pick up points in. If they do get anything then it will be a bonus, but the focus must remain on winning those games involving teams in and around the bottom eight or so.
So in that sense they can travel to Chelsea without the pressure of knowing the importance of getting a result, which they have faced in the last few games and been generally successful.
The squad has shown they will be giving this season a good go and the recent run must only improve confidence and belief in what they are doing. Cardiff were the victims of this growing belief, and the Eagles fully deserved their victory.
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987